Wisconsin Governor Mohamed Hosni Mubarak Walker’s lies have been so blatant even the Rupert Murdock rag the WSJ had to report the truth, Biggest protests yet as pro-Walker side, larger union crowd meet peacefully
The protesters descended on Madison as Walker, through a spokesman, rejected an overture from a Democratic state senator who said public employee unions had agreed to make financial sacrifices contained in the bill in return for the right to bargain collectively.
[ ]…Walker’s office reacted in response to Erpenbach, who said he had been informed that state and local public employee unions had agreed to the financial aspects of the measure.
Erpenbach’s statement was backed by a spokeswoman for the Wisconsin Education Association Council, who confirmed the agreement, and by Marty Beil, the head of the Wisconsin State Employees Union, an affiliate of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees.
Erpenbach said the offer was “a legitimate and serious offer on the table from local, state and school public employees that balances Gov. Walker’s budget.”
“It would appear that Gov. Walker’s only target is the destruction of collective bargaining rights and not solving the state’s budget,” Erpenbach said.
Walker’s mission is to destroy collective bargaining. His stance and that of Wisconsin’s conservative legislators is not about balancing the budget. Collective bargaining is a fundamental right. It is labor using its first amendment rights to address grievances.
Tom Rynders, a Vietnam veteran in town to support Walker, was talking to a Journal Sentinel reporter when a union protester yelled at him, “This is about losing our rights as citizens.” Replied Rynders, “I have rights, too.”
What rights does Mr. Rynders think he is losing. The right to take away the fundamental rights of others. Unions are willing to make concessions on the dollars end of the debate. Better to take home a few dollars less in hard economic times than none at all. Unions are not monoliths who are always opposed to adjusting to the reality of economics. What Rynder and Walker want is 100% of what they want even if that means they are using big gov’mint to ride over the rights of average working people. Where is the consistency when Walker and his supporters are not protesting that those bargaining rights, which have been left in place for the state police and firefighters. The Right seems to think basic rights are like fairy dust to be sprinkled where and when they want them. Hosni Mubarak is out of a job now, maybe Walker and his supporters should give him a call and start their own country. One ruled with an iron fist and a minimum amount of rights. More confirmation Walker is waging a war on unions and teachers in particulr, Day 5 Brings 70,000-Plus to Madison to Protect Workers’ Rights
Also Walker rejected an offer from the unions to accept economic concessions if the near total ban on collective bargaining was removed from the so-called “budget repair” bill. State Sen. Jon Erpenbach told reporters
It would appear that Gov. Walker’s only target is the destruction of collective bargaining rights and not solving the state’s budget.
This is the guy the tea smokers see as their newest patron saint, Scott Walker Padded Salary Increases for Cronies During Budgetary Distress: 24% Salary Increase for Aide with 2 Public Pensions
Scott Walker, the Governor of Wisconsin who is spearheading the GOP effort to crush collective bargaining, lavished relatively large salary increases on his staff when he was chief executive of the Milwaukee County Board. Walker surreptitiously did this in 2008 – without the approval of the county board itself and at a time that the county was facing a fiscal deficit, and Walker was about to lay off a large number of union workers. In addition, 700 county positions had already been left vacant due to budgetary pressures.
According to a 2008 Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel (MJS) article,which exposed Walker’s illicit personal staff raises, one aide was to achieve a 26% increase – solely initiated and approved by Walker – even though the staffer, Tom Nardelli, was to receive tax-payer funded pensions that would exceed $35,700 a year. A member of the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors called Nardelli’s salary increase “obscene,” according the MJS.
The Department of Health Services last month signed a new contract with Deloitte Consulting for more maintenance and enhancement of the information system for SeniorCare and other income maintenance programs.
According to the public inspection copy of Deloitte’s technical proposal, the new, eight-year contract (known as CARES) increases the hourly billing rate from $92 to $104 and increases the fixed facilities rate from $1,320,000 to $2,040,000 a year. When multiplied by the 300,000 billable hours that DHS estimates will be available, this contract’s total annual cost is tens of millions of dollars.
DHS could scale back this contract by hiring information technology professionals and doing much of this work in-house for less money. That’s what the Department of Workforce Development did several years ago when they took over maintenance of the portions of the CARES system which deal with the W-2 and Child Care programs.
Why is DHS preparing to spend over $30 million a year on one information system when times are so tough? It won’t create jobs for Wisconsin residents since most of Deloitte’s workforce is subcontracted from India.
Ezra Klein runs the numbers. Only right-wing conservative math could make Walker’s agenda make sense, Mohamed Hosni Mubarak Walker is to blame for Wisconsin’s budget, not unions
Let’s be clear: Whatever fiscal problems Wisconsin is — or is not — facing at the moment, they’re not caused by labor unions. That’s also true for New Jersey, for Ohio and for the other states. There was no sharp rise in collective bargaining in 2006 and 2007, no major reforms of the country’s labor laws, no dramatic change in how unions organize. And yet, state budgets collapsed. Revenues plummeted. Taxes had to go up, and spending had to go down, all across the country.
Blame the banks. Blame global capital flows. Blame lax regulation of Wall Street. Blame home buyers, or home sellers. But don’t blame the unions. Not for this recession.
Of course, the fact that public-employee pensions didn’t cause a meltdown at Lehman Brothers doesn’t mean they’re not stressing state budgets, and that the pensions they’ve been promised don’t exceed what state budgets seem able to bear. But the buildup of global capital that overheated the American housing sector and got packaged into seemingly riskless financial products that then brought down Wall Street, paralyzing the economy, throwing millions out of work, and destroying the revenues from state income and sales taxes even as state residents needed more social services? The answer to that is not to end collective bargaining for (some) public employees. A plus B plus C does not equal what Gov. Scott Walker is attempting in Wisconsin.
* The budget report is working with two-time periods simultaneously: 2010-2011, and then 2011-13. The $130 million deficit now projected for 2011 isn’t the fault of the tax breaks passed during Walker’s special session, though his special session created about $120 million in deficit spending between 2011 and 2013 — and perhaps more than that, if his policies are extended. That is to say, the deficit spending he created in his special session is about equal to the deficit Wisconsin faces this year, but it’s not technically correct to say that Walker created 2011’s deficit. Rather, he added $120 million to the 2011-2013 deficits, and perhaps more in the years after that.
And to get even more specific: Walker giveaways on entering office,
* $25 million for an economic development fund for job creation, which still holds $73 million because of anemic job growth.
* $48 million for private health savings accounts — a perennial Republican favorite.
* $67 million for a tax incentive plan that benefits employers, but at levels too low to spur hiring.
In essence, public workers are being asked to pick up the tab for this agenda.
If tax cuts and deregulation were the secret ingredient to creating jobs, where are they. Taxes are lower than ever. The Zero-Sum Game: States Cannot Stimulate Their Economies by Cutting Taxes
Though Arizona is facing a large deficit for fiscal year 2011 (equivalent to 25 percent of the budget) and is considering huge budget cuts, in January the state House approved a proposal to cut both the corporate and individual income tax rates as well as the business property tax. Similarly, governors in Delaware, Florida, South Carolina, and Rhode Island have proposed corporate income tax cuts as stimulus.
Such proposals are highly unlikely to work. When a state cuts a general tax such as the corporate or individual income tax, the impact on the state economy depends on what the business or the individual does with the money freed up by the tax cut.
* If a tax cut to a corporation increases its profits, it may distribute those profits as dividends to shareholders who live throughout the country; those funds will not necessarily create additional in-state demand.
* A corporation will not necessarily use the funds provided by the tax cut to make additional investments in the state in the short term. If there isn’t additional demand for a business’s good or service, the firm might keep the funds in reserve until demand picks up at a later time — by which time it would not need any government inducement to expand.
* If a tax cut goes to a higher-income person, that person might save most of those extra dollars — invest them in the stock market, for example — so the tax cut would create little or no additional demand within the state.
Moreover, broad-based tax cuts in these circumstances can inflict damage on public investments seen by many economists as key avenues for both short- and long-term economic development — including education, infrastructure, and other public investments. For example, Timothy Bartik, a widely respected economist at the W.E.Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, has proposed eight policies that would be especially cost-effective in promoting Michigan’s economic development. Six of them would institute or expand public spending for job training, apprenticeships, or general education. Bartik specifically cites Michigan’s budget gap as a threat to the state’s economic progress. Rather than advocating tax cuts, he recommends broadening of the state’s major tax bases and increasing the progressivity of its income tax, so that the government will be able to fund these programs
[ ]…# Many businesses wouldn’t benefit from the credit because they have no taxable profits due to the recession. Businesses that have experienced losses over the past couple of years in the recession are unlikely to have any state tax liability next year or for the next few years, because those losses can be carried forward to eliminate or reduce taxes once the company again becomes profitable. A company in that situation would not get any immediate benefit from a job-creation tax credit (unless it is refundable). While the company may be able to carry the credit forward to a future year, an unusable credit would not be much of an incentive to hire new employees now, when a stimulus is needed.
# Even for profitable firms, the value of the credit is less than it appears because state taxes are deductible for federal tax purposes. Thus, a company that pays less state tax will pay more federal tax. The state loses the total amount of the revenue, but the value of the credit is shared between the firm and the federal government. This makes a modest-sized credit even less likely to call forth additional job creation. It also increases the likelihood that most of the state revenue loss would subsidize jobs that would have been created anyway.
As with the anti-Affordable care Act protests, the anti-worker tea baggers in Wisconsin are not acting purely out of some grassroots populist impulse, Koch Brothers Behind Wisconsin Effort To Kill Public Unions
What’s more, the plan to kill the unions is right out of the Koch Brothers play book.
Koch-backed groups like Americans for Prosperity, the Cato Institute, the Competitive Enterprise Institute, and the Reason Foundation have long taken a very antagonistic view toward public-sector unions. Several of these groups have urged the eradication of these unions. The Kochs also invited Mark Mix, president of the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, an anti-union outfit, to a June 2010 confab in Aspen, Colorado;
Via Mother Jones
If you are reluctant to believe that this is a coordinated attack, consider this-
This afternoon, Marty Beil, executive director of the Wisconsin Public Workers Union, sent a message to the Governor’s office agreeing to the cuts to pension & welfare benefits sought by Walker in his bill. The governor’s response was “nothing doing.” He wants the whole kit and kaboodle – the end of the collective bargaining rights of the public unions.
Whether it is Wisconsin, Ohio, Florida or Arizona Across the it is minimum wage to middle-class Americans who have suffered the most from Wall St, the crony capitalism promoted by much of the Washington D.C. and front line Koch puppets such as Walker. Walker has a job, promoting the power of strongly centralized authoritarian state government apparently. While American workers have lost their jobs, their savings, often times their homes and dreams of a better future. While many of them are or have paid back the funds, those workers bailed out negligent bankers. The institutions that caused them so much suffering. Many of these corporations are reaping huge profits and handing out big bonuses, using tax loopholes, offshore tax shelters and are working behind the scenes to shift blame to unions, the working poor and the middle-class. Maybe because of the whole Fox News phenomenon, fake news and manufactured outrage, some of those working poor and middle-class are fighting to help corporations and politicians like Walker, make working class Americans even more powerless.
Just got a report from some of our folks on the ground in Columbus, Ohio, that more than 5,000 people—firefighters, teachers, small business leaders, community members and other public-service workers—filled the Statehouse again today to show their opposition to Senate Bill 5 that eliminates collective bargaining rights for all state workers, including faculty and staff at Ohio state colleges and universities.